Media Releases 2011

Community to have a say on outdoor areas being made smoke-free

16 March 2011


Yarra Council will seek community feedback in coming months on a proposal for many outdoor areas to be made smoke-free.

At its March meeting, Council decided to seek community feedback on ways to stop people smoking near playgrounds and in outdoor dining areas, amongst other places.

Mayor Cr Alison Clarke said there was a lot of water to go under the bridge before Council made a decision to introduce smoking bans, but it was time for the community to start talking about the next steps in the fight against smoking-related illness.

“Lung cancer is the second highest cause of avoidable deaths in Yarra, so the fight against smoking-related illnesses still has a fair way to go,” Cr Clarke said.

“I think eliminating smoking near playgrounds is a bit of a no-brainer, as most people agree that children shouldn’t be exposed to any level of smoke,” she said.

“According to a Cancer Council Victoria study, about 77% of Victorians believe smoking should not be allowed in outdoor areas where children are present.

“However, we are yet to test the level of support in our community for bans in any outdoor areas, and we want to do that before we make a decision.”

Cr Clarke said Council would consider whether it was appropriate to introduce a local law to enforce the bans. Under the local law, Council officers would be able to issue fines to people who defied the bans.

She said Council would seek feedback from local residents and businesses about the proposal, with Council to consider the feedback received and make a decision on its next steps towards the end of 2011.


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